A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence and tragedy only bring about an endless cycle of the same. Hatred and revenge won't free you from your pain. Tragic events like massacres don't just affect the dead and their families, they resonate throughout communities and even countries for generations. Love transcends time and even the physical form of the lovers themselves.
Positive Role Models
Tyra is a good role model of communication, speaking her mind on important issues and refusing to back down from threats or intimidation. She offers positive LGBTQ+ representation. Siya models communication, talking openly and honestly with her loved ones. She sacrifices her own dreams to live with and take care of her ailing grandmother. Most women characters model endurance and patience, while the men remain stuck in the past.
Cast is mostly Black. One main character is a White woman who's attracted to women.
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Violence & Scariness
Learning about a massacre that took place 60 years ago in Sharpeville, South Africa, is the main backdrop and catalyst for the story. Non-gory flashbacks show victims running in fear and police shooting them in the back. Two murders by injecting an overdose of insulin are shown without gore. A punch in the face and an assault with implied threat of rape (victim elbows the assailant in the gut). Physical intimidation, threats. Dark, tense music and sound effects create a heavy overall atmosphere.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple of simulated sex scenes with grunting and thrusting but no sensitive body parts shown. Some kissing and caressing. Breasts are briefly visible through a sheer, wet dress. Two romantic relationships, one same-sex and one opposite-sex.
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"F--k," "f--king," "bulls--t," "bitch," and "piss off." Lots of verbal hostility, threats, and intimidation.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Prescribed medication is injected into the abdomen several times. Forcibly injecting an overdose is the method for two murders. Adults drink beer and brown liquid socially. Several adults smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jewel is a tense drama with a real-life massacre 62 years ago in South Africa as the backdrop. Several languages are spoken with subtitles provided. There's no gore, but tension and dread are pervasive, and flashbacks show victims running away and police shooting at their backs. There are two murders by forced injection of insulin, also not gory. There's a punch in the face, an assault, an elbow to the gut, and verbal and physical intimidation and threats. Two simulated sex scenes don't show sensitive body parts but show thrusting and grunting. There's also some kissing, caressing, breasts visible under sheer clothes, and both opposite-sex and same-sex romances. Strong language includes "f--k" and "bulls--t." Adults drink alcohol socially, and several adults smoke cigarettes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a tension-filled, almost gothic drama with some fine points, but also some problems that make it a bit of a mixed bag. Jewel is a compelling exploration of how different kinds of people are affected by tragedy, and how they try to deal with it, even many years later. There are some fine performances and some that just get the job done. Some of the storytelling is confusing, with scenes that are hard to understand or seem unnecessary, and the music chosen to create tension and drama is overused and overdone.
That said, mature teens who can handle the sex and violence will learn a lot about apartheid, the Sharpeville massacre, and how past tragedies continue to reverberate into the future. It's a good starting point for important conversations and may encourage further learning about South Africa.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.